EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip — An ailing parrot in the Gaza Strip received treatment Tuesday from an Israeli animal rights group after its Palestinian owner appealed for help via Facebook.
Abdullah Sharaf told The Associated Press that his African grey parrot, Koki, drank bleach that burned a hole in his throat. He said local veterinarians, ill-equipped to handle specialized cases, suggested his exotic pet be put down.
Unconvinced, Sharaf appealed via Facebook to an animal rights group in central Israel, which agreed to help. The group sent a mobile surgery clinic to the Israel-Gaza frontier and successfully treated the bird at the crossing.
Tuesday’s rescue was coordinated with COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.
Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since the Islamic terror group Hamas seized power from the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Israel says the restrictions are vital to prevent the smuggling of weapons and military materials into Gaza. Goods arrive at Israeli ports and are trucked into the Palestinian territory. Palestinians in Gaza face severe travel restrictions, making it difficult to get specialized medical treatment.
Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seeks to destroy Israel.